Sometimes Good People Do Bad Things: Why I Played Hooky To Go On Holiday

Asia

This post was contributed by Francine.


You’ve read the title and might be thinking, this girl is irresponsible and probably can’t be trusted at work.  Before you let your initial thoughts dissuade you from finishing this post— hear me out, you just might get a little something out of this! Now, I’m not saying to fake being sick for a whole week and head to the Amalfi Coast just to stunt for the ‘gram on a yacht in that white bikini with the beautiful hues of pink and orange houses behind you. I am not advocating that. But, sometimes you just need a short escape and there are no vacation days or holiday time in sight.  If you’re living in a city and running through that rat race life, you probably find yourself needing a break more often than your nature-dwelling counterparts.  I know I do.
Sometimes though, I just feel like I am about to burn out from work, or need something to snap me out of monotony.
Did you know that Americans usually only get 10 vacation days per year?  If you’ve worked for a company for five years it can get better— add on an extra ten days.  For those wanderlustful folks, like me, that like to travel far and wide, it isn’t that much.  Especially when you consider what our British and French cousins across the pond earn in holiday time. This and a few other factors pushed me to make a change and start a life living in Asia.  I am super happy living here, and try to count my blessings when I remember.  Sometimes though, I just feel like I am about to burn out from work, or need something to snap me out of monotony.
I’m a Sagittarius, what can I say? So, one day a friend and I decided to head to Taipei for a weekend, but leaving on a Friday after work would only allow us Saturday until Sunday afternoon the latest, to explore.  Not a lot of time to do much.  Sooo, we decided to leave on a Friday morning to make the most of our weekend.  I felt so guilty getting on that plane (I know, cry me a river), but as soon as I arrived and got something to eat, a lot of that guilt melted away.  I walked around and got to feel the energy of Taipei: chill but full of personality and really damn cool.  What really may have won me over was the stress of being a black girl in Asia was not as intense here, but we’ll save that for another post. That night Josie and I met up with a friend of mine that I got to know while traveling in Myanmar.  We spent the night sipping and laughing, and getting excited for Pride the next day.  That night was one of the best I had had in a while.  Being an extroverted introvert, the process of meeting new people can be…tiring, especially at a loud outdoor bar area.
However, we met some people that were just our speed (travel really brings humans together, amirite?).

So, here’s to hoping that more companies recognize the importance of mental health and shell out some personal days for their employees that throw down on a regular.

We went through the traditional conversation that a lot of folks living abroad usually have:

i.e. how long have you been living out here? What do you do? How much longer do you think you’ll stay?, etc. 

After getting through that, my homegirl and I hit it off with this couple that lives in Tokyo!  They are some of the most awesome people I’ve met.  We basically spent the remainder of our trip with them and got on so well that they invited us to visit them in Tokyo!  And a few months later we did!

 

I won’t teach you how to do this because this is not a a step-by-step guide, but because I am not morally bankrupt I think there is right way to do this.  Before I planned my small escape there are some things I considered:

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    Don’t give your colleagues a reason to hate you. 
    I think for the sake of everyone you should not tell them your plans, but to make their life easier while you are gone, you absolutely should finish your work and meet your deadlines. Everyone has their own tasks to complete at work, and it’s easier when they don’t have to add an extra load,  “I would LOVE to take on my colleague’s duties while they’re gone!” said no one ever…I hope.  Not to mention you would probably feel less guilt while trying to enjoy yourself.
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    Don’t make it a habit!
    No need for explanation.  Why would you be working at a job that you need a constant break from anyway?
    I guess my point is, mental health is too important.  Unfortunately, more often than not, needing time to recharge from a stress at work or from life does not qualify as just sick leave.  I came back from Taipei buzzing with happy feels and ready to come back to work.  Do you need to fly to another city to have fun and recharge?  Nope.  The opportunity presented itself and I decided to take advantage of it.  I am so glad I did.
I travel at least five times a year, but I still don’t know how I worked and lived in the States before without being able to take the same amount of time off.  In retrospect, I can truly say that I was not enjoying life like I am here.  My job did not require as much mental effort as my current one does, but I think because of that it was easier to end up in a funk. I was not being as creative as I would have liked to and usually that feeling spiraled into a sense of worthlessness. However, when you need money to make ends meet, taking a day off for a self-care escape is not always an option. So, here’s to hoping that more companies recognize the importance of mental health and shell out some personal days for their employees that throw down on a regular.
If you really need time to do you and your job doesn’t offer personal days, then at least you have my support in spirit.  Sometimes good people do “bad” things.  I think there are worse things to do than take time off work to get your mind right!

Meet Francine: An almost-28-year old sprinkling black girl magic around Asia. Keep up with her on IG.

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